Globalport intends to keep JapethBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
SINGAPORE—Globalport will offer Japeth Aguilar the PBA’s maximum allowable salary for the next three years when he arrives from the United States on Monday.
The PBA’s youngest squad intends to keep Aguilar although it is not closing the door on trading away the 6-foot-9 beanpole for a veteran in the future, according to Globalport board representative Erick Arejola.
“We will keep him. Coach Junel (Baculi) likes him,” Arejola said over dinner at a Marina Bay Sands restaurant here. “Definitely, we will offer him the maximum salary.”
Globalport, which won just one game in its maiden PBA tournament, the Philippine Cup, acquired the rights to Aguilar from Talk ‘N Text by giving away underachieving former UAAP MVP Rabeh Al-Hussaini in a deal approved by the league Thursday morning.
“BJ (Manalo, Globalport team manager) already talked to Japeth,” Arejola said. “I will be briefed on their conversation when the (PBA) board returns to Manila. We hope to be able to sign him up once he arrives.”
For months the high-leaping 26-year-old refused to sign an extension with Talk ‘N Text which, according to reports, did not give him enough playing time.
Aguilar, who will be offered a deal worth P420,000 a month in basic salary, will have all the playing time he needs at Globalport, a squad needing an aggressive big man.
The Batang Pier also acquired national pool member Sol Mercado in a separate deal with Meralco, prompting team owner Mikee Romero to declare that, together with Gary David, Mercado and Aguilar will form the core of the squad.
Aguilar was supposed to head straight to Barangay Ginebra under a complicated deal involving multiple players and five teams but the Gin Kings backed out at the last minute.